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First place

Lip balm fix

Recently, while doing an emergency water heater replacement, I needed some lube for the small O-rings on the mixing valve. Realizing I didn’t have any silicone lube in my solder box, and not wanting to take the chance of tearing the rings, my imagination kicked into gear. I remembered I had a stick of Burt’s Bees lip balm in my truck. The all natural beeswax was easy to apply and worked perfectly.

Mark Giese
Westfield, Wisconsin


JULY 2015

No sewer gas in floor drains

Here at McHenry County College, like any school, we have multiple floor drains in the bathrooms, kitchen and mechanical rooms. Some of these drains are seldom, if ever, used and are in obscure areas, resulting in work orders for a sewer gas odor. The repeat offenders are the drains that accept the discharge from the elevator sump pumps.

My solution: I pour RV antifreeze in these drains as it evaporates at a much slower rate and will not leave a funky smell as vegetable oil does. It is also cheap and nontoxic. When it comes to sewer gas, no news is good news!

Pat Sullivan // McHenry County College
Crystal Lake, Illinois

Kinetic Water Ram

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First Place Prize

Our first-place winner will receive a Kinetic Water Ram from General Pipe Cleaners with a retail value of $325. The kit contains the Kinetic Water Ram, 4-inch rubber cone, five rubber plugs and a carrying case. The Kinetic Water Ram uses a burst of compressed air to create a shock wave (kinetic energy) that travels though water to break up a stoppage. It quickly opens clogged sinks, toilets and tubs. It handles rust, grease and scale in lines with diameters up to 4 inches. The Ram has a self-contained pump and pressure gauge so you can hit the blockage with just the right amount of force. You get instant impact with no pressure buildup. The shock wave travels so fast it bypasses vents and stacks, hitting the stoppage with 98% of its force. The Ram is particularly useful when the problem is on the far side of a drum trap.

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